When I was younger than my oldest daughter, I met two very special girls who walked alongside of me through life. They walked the same African dirt roads with me. They knew all of my awkward crushes and we all guessed at who we’d marry one day. We fought, we made up, and we eventually grew up. Our places on the map are scattered, and our visits are rare. So, when the opportunity came to possibly see one another last weekend, my heart “soared on the wings of anticipation” (my favorite quote from Anne of Green Gables). I prayed day in and day out that a way would be made possible to get my longing heart to Oregon. I was reminded over and over of this verse: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.– Proverbs 13:12
I had many gut-wrenching moments over the past weeks, but was determined to trust the Lord with whatever answer He gave me. He gently told me, Not this time, Amy. It wasn’t easy to accept that answer, but I know His ways are best, and experienced His grace to comfort my aching heart. I love the promise in that verse: after experiencing the waiting, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and the fulfillment is greater than the original longing.
It’s kind of like gardening in the dead of winter. We planted many seeds, and looked for weeks and weeks at barren ground. I hoped and prayed for beauty to rise from the ugly dirt. It would have been great to experience instant beauty. But God doesn’t do the next-day-garden. He teaches us how to be patient, and sometimes we even feel a little sick when we wait. Then, life starts to emerge from what seemed impossible. Those first blooms are the fulfillment of all those longings. We forget the emptiness when we are so full. Yet we appreciate it so much more because of the hunger.
Hope postponed grieves the heart;
but when a dream comes true, life is full and sweet.
Sometimes it helps me to write out a verse in my own words. This comforted me: When a desire which you expect to be fulfilled, is delayed until the right time, your heart feels sick. But when a strong desire for something that is unattainable becomes a reality, it is like eating from the tree which gives life.
Maybe you’re waiting for something which seems unattainable. His answer might be yes, it might be no, or it might be it a little longer. When it’s perfect, He will make it a reality. Don’t spurn or wish away the aches that come along with the waiting, though.
For me, it wasn’t the right time, and it may never be this side of Heaven. But I know for sure that one day we will experience an unbelievable reunion. We won’t need plane tickets, and we won’t ever need to say goodbye.